You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. With property buyers often forming their opinion about a prospective new home in a matter of seconds, that first impression could clinch a quick sale or a better price.
Happily, there is much you can do to give your property instant appeal without breaking the bank. Here’s how to wow your buyers in those all-important first few seconds and secure the highest possible price for your property.
1. Assess your property with fresh eyes – what are buyers looking for in a house property?
You are familiar with your home and you chose it, so there is a fair chance that you have overlooked a few of its shortcomings. Try to look at every area of your property with fresh eyes and ask yourself what you would think if you had never seen it before.
It is more than likely that many of the potential issues with your home have sneaked up on you over time – like that pile of old tiles and paving slabs cluttering up a corner of your front garden. Never forget that buyers will be forming their opinions before they have so much as opened your front gate.
2. Create instant curb appeal
If relevant, tidy up your front and back gardens or yards. Clear the rubbish and clutter away, and if there is nowhere to put it, take it to the tip or borrow some space in a friend’s garden until the house is sold.
If you have a garden and it isn’t planted, invest in a few flowers or interesting plants with attractive foliage to make a feature of the space. Use planters that you can take with you if you don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash on greenery which you will be leaving behind when you move.
Weed your garden, mow the lawn, and cut back any out of control plants which are blocking out the light from your home.
Try to avoid displaying your wheelie bins at the front of the property – if it is possible, move them.
Ensure that the exterior of the property is in a good state of repair and that paintwork and windows are clean. If you spot any issues, the expense of the repairs is an investment worth making.
Take a good look at the neighbouring properties. Does your home truly shine or is it the least appealing property in the street?
3. Update your exterior lighting
If you are selling your house in winter, some viewings may take place after dark. Make sure that exterior lighting is sufficient to create a safe route to the front door and that it shows off your garden to the greatest effect. A few lights won’t cost the earth but could make all the difference to that first impression.
4. Lose the cars
Many buyers will be concerned about parking. If you have a small drive or garage, park your cars away from the property because empty spaces look larger. If you park on the street, you should still move your cars elsewhere to make it more likely that your potential buyers can find a space when they arrive.
5. Addressing your interior
So, you have wowed your viewers with a gorgeous garden, generous parking, and the cleanest windows in the street. But you need to work just as hard on the interior of your property. The curb appeal you have created won’t seem so wonderful when your buyers step into your home and can’t move for clutter or are assaulted by the distinctive aroma of damp dogs.
6. Clear the clutter
An accumulation of clutter prevents buyers from seeing the potential of your rooms and suggests that your property lacks storage space. Don’t let those thoughts enter their minds. Tidy away everything which doesn’t need to be on display. If there’s nowhere to put it all, rent a room in a self-storage facility and park your clutter there until you move.
While you are clearing all that clutter, remove a few pieces of furniture from smaller rooms to make them appear more spacious.
7. Depersonalise your home
You might love your holiday snaps and souvenirs, but they will be of little interest to viewers and could prevent them from being able to visualise their own possessions in your home. Take away all personal items and leave just a few decorative pieces on display to stop the rooms from appearing too bland and unloved.
8. Go neutral
It’s easy to freshen up a room with a quick coat of paint and you could totally transform the space. Lose the bright pink feature wall or busy wallpaper and decorate in neutral tones which might not inspire your buyers, but which certainly won’t put them off.
9. Let there be light
Most buyers will be attracted to light and airy properties. You can’t alter the location of your home or the size of the windows but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it feel lighter. Replace dim light bulbs with higher wattage models. Take down heavy and dark curtains and consider installing extra lights in dark corners. Paint dark rooms in lighter colours and hang mirrors to reflect more light into the rooms.
10. Repair and revitalise
It can be the small details which let down your home. The odd leaking tap or chipped area of paintwork suggests that you haven’t taken good care of the property and could leave buyers wondering what else is wrong with it. Fix those taps, replace broken lightbulbs, and attend to doors which don’t open or close properly.
Touch up your paintwork, replace your shower curtain, and ensure that all linens and towels are fresh as a daisy. Replace any worn cushions covers with new ones and conceal wear and tear on your sofas with a strategically positioned throw.
11. Relocate your pets
Your pet might be your pride and joy but could be a serious turn-off for buyers. It is best if they aren’t around during viewings and that any odours have been eradicated from the property. Send your pet to a friend’s house during viewings or take him/her for a trot around the neighbourhood while your agent works his/her magic.
12. Sell the lifestyle
You might not have used your small patio in living memory. However, you can sell the dream of al fresco dining by staging the area. If you don’t have the right furniture or a barbecue, borrow what you need from friends. It is amazing how a few carefully chosen props can transform an underused area of your home into a great selling point.
13. Keep things clean
It doesn’t cost anything to clean your house, except a little of your time. Wipe down every surface and brush away those cobwebs before any viewings to refresh your property. Polish the taps and mirrors, clean dirty tile grout and give the oven a good scrub because your prospective buyers could be nosy.
You never know what might put buyers off so don’t give them a single reason not to love your home. Buyers will be looking for the best property they can afford. All you have to do is convince them that your home is exactly that.